Anthony Seibold’s self-imposed exile from the NRL coaching ranks appears to be over.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs and Brisbane Broncos mentor will join the Newcastle Knights in 2021, as a part-time consultant.
After being named the 2018 Dally M coach of the year, Seibold switched to the Queensland-based club in 2019.
But, he departed the organisation before the end of this season, following the early termination of his contract.
Seibold, who worked with Newcastle boss Adam O’Brien at the Melbourne Storm earlier in their careers, will focus on “coaching the coaches”, according to the Knights’ official website.
“We are really pleased with the staff we have here,” O’Brien said.
“It’s a great mixture of positional coaches and each member has a clearly defined role.
“Everyone comes to work well-prepared; they are passionate about their roles and strive for success every day.
“That is everything we want in our staff.”
O’Brien has assembled an impressive full-time line-up as well, headed by general manager of football Danny Buderus.
But, in 2021, his support staff looks a little different.
Ex-South Sydney and St George Illawarra halfback Willie Peters will tackle his second consecutive season as an assistant coach, while Eric Smith and Rory Kostjasyn have been promoted to work alongside him.
Smith cut his teeth through the Melbourne Storm system, winning a minor premiership with the Sunshine Coast Falcons in 2019.
Kostjasyn played 128 NRL games for Melbourne and North Queensland.
He’s been a member of the Knights coaching staff since his retirement in 2017, spending two seasons at the helm of the Canterbury Cup side before promotion to the role of NRL development coach last year.
Former Canterbury Bulldogs and Paramatta Eels stalwart Andrew Ryan takes up the NRL development coach position, which was vacated by Smith and Kostjasyn.
He’ll also guide the NSW Cup team and assist Matthew Morris in delivering the club’s wellbeing program.
Ryan’s appointment comes after a successful stint in charge of South Newcastle in the local first grade competition.
At junior level, there’s also been some major changes, with the Knights not electing to field a Jersey Flegg outfit in 2021.
Scott Dureau takes charge of the SG Ball side, while remaining in his role as youth academy manager.
Ex-Origin and Test prop Mark O’Meley joins the team as both a pathways and Harold Matthews coach.
Casey Bromilow, the club’s pathways manager, will also coach the Tarsha Gale women’s squad.
The changes continue in the high-performance department, too.
Balin Cupples resumes as head of physical performance in what will be his third season at the Knights.
Andy Barnett and Mick Reid are new additions to Cupples’ team, with the duo working in physical strength and conditioning, alongside the recently-promoted Matthew Toohey.
Heidi Thornton returns as the sports science analyst, while Peter Gourlay heads up the club’s video analytics.
Physio Phil Bosson’s years of association with Newcastle’s medical team continues.
He’ll be supported by Lou Cutler.
Head of recruitment Clint Zammit will work alongside club legend Alex McKinnon.